Bamboo slat: A sunrise industry in Northern Mindanao

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014


A SUNRISE industry is taking shape here and in Misamis Oriental (MisOr) – a source of income for near-river and hinterland communities.

The Department of Trade and Industries (DTI) and seven farmer organizations signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) on Monday for the production of bamboo slats for the manufacturing of ply boards.

The DTI MisOr provincial office which provided the initial machinery for the harvesting, slicing and curing of bamboo sticks to the farmers said that the endeavor would benefit nearly 3000 farmers involved in the industry.

Elisa Pabillore, DTI MisOr provincial director said that around P7million worth of assistance including the node machines have been distributed and are now with the farmer organizations.

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“The machines were our initial material support to the farmers for them to be able to easily produce in volume bamboo slats to supply the ply board maker,” Pabillore said.

The condition is for the farmers to fully make use of the machine, and if ever a group of famers cease to continue with the bamboo business, the machine should be returned to the DTI for other farmers to benefit.

Cagayan de Oro City’s Local Environment Natural Resources Office which encourages tree planting along riverbanks as flood control has instead encouraged communities to plant bamboo so they could earn from the poles for the slat production.

The farmers have the option to buy the machines from DTI after five years and assured that government support will continue so long as the stakeholders exist, particularly in the upgrading of the technology needed to further the output of the industry, while facilitating for better market opportunities.

Producing bamboo slats is not the only thing that the farmers could do. “The possibility for them to upgrade and become manufacturers of house finishing materials is there, depending on how they manage their organizations, and that government will always be behind them,” Pabillore said.

Pabillore said that the project with the bamboo farmers is the agency’s implementation of its ‘Big Push’ program for the development of the micro small medium enterprise where the SSF (shared service facility) project is a major component that aims to improve the competitiveness of the farmers by providing them machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills and knowledge under a shared system.

Aside from DTI, other government agencies involved in the bamboo slat production are the Departments of Labor and Employment and Science and Technology.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 16, 2014.

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